The island’s only hospital will be located in Quail Canyon and will see mandatory state updates by 2030.
AVALON—Catalina Island will finally see the construction of its new hospital thanks to a generous land donation from Catalina Island Company. Catalina Island Museum hosted an event on June 20 with more than 125 guests in attendance to celebrate.
Catalina Island Company granted 2.5 acres of land, valued at $4 million, in Quail Canyon. Jason Paret, CEO of Catalina Island Medical Center and guest speaker at the event, unveiled renderings of how the hospital will look including interior and exterior concepts. The new hospital “will be a state-of-the-art facility with all private rooms for inpatient and long-term care patients.” New services will be added including infusion therapy, digital mammography, women’s health services, a surgical suite for outpatient procedures and patient wellness education. Catalina Island Medical Center already provides emergency care, family practice, radiology and other services.
A statement by Catalina Island Company said, “Catalina Island Medical Center has been serving residents of and visitors to Catalina Island since 1960. Back then, Avalon’s population was 1,536 residents, with 250,000 visitors annually. The city now counts [more than] 4,500 residents and welcomes some one million visitors each year – which means the hospital is serving more than four times the number it was built to serve almost 60 years.”
Paret has spoken at past city council meetings urging a decision about the hospital, which according to the State of California must be updated to meet earthquake safety standards by 2030 or face closing. One concern, in addition to the safety of residents, was if the hospital closed cruise ships would stop sailing into Catalina; tourism is one of the island’s top industries.
In 2018, citizens voted in a special election in April on ballot item known as Measure T, or the “transit tax,” in order to raise funds to build a new hospital. The transit tax would have added a $1 charge via cruise ship, ferry or aircraft indefinitely until the cost of construction would be raised. Residents, who were mostly opposed to the tax, ultimately voted against it.
Catalina Island Medical Center is currently located at 100 Falls Canyon Rd. in Avalon. Visit cimedicalcenter.org to learn more.